When I graduated high school I left the state. I went to college and then started my career. Fifteen years later I would move back to eastern Washington. Upon my return, my parents started to suggest—no, more like demand—that I take some of the stuff I left at their house as an 18-year-old teenager to my own home. We are talking about high school yearbooks, t-shirts, binders of schoolwork, etc.
This past weekend my parents “allowed me” to take off their hands another item that was literally collecting dust. I happened to drop by their neighborhood at the same time my dad was retrieving holiday decorations in the house’s crawl space. While he was deep inside he could hear me talking to my mom at the entrance to the crawl space. When my dad surfaced he was holding something other than Christmas lights.
In his hand was my yellow Mead High School letterman jacket. I had literally not seen it, let alone worn it, since a couple days before my high school graduation in 2005. I loved that coat. It was my Christmas present my sophomore year and I made sure to get plenty of wear out of it over the next 2.5 years. It fit like a glove, it screamed school spirit, and it made me feel like a stud.
Of course the first thing I did was grab the jacket out of my dad’s hand and throw it on. It wasn’t as comfortable as I once remembered and it didn’t hang the same as it did in the early 2000s. But the moment that leather draped my shoulders I was transported back in time and could feel myself walking down the hallways of Mead. Ah, to be young again.
Sloan and I had just finished at the movie theater when we stopped by my parents’ house so it was just the two of us. To be funny, I wore my letterman jacket home and surprised Sid when I walked inside. She wasn’t as enthusiastic about the coat as I was.
Even as my letterman jacket takes up valuable closet space at our house, I am glad to be reunited with it. I won’t be wearing it to the grocery store or anything but maybe my kids will appreciate it one of these days or ask about the pins on it. Do you still have your letterman jacket? Don’t Blink.